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12 Scams of Christmas: Better Safe Than Sorry

Posted by Admin On December - 10 - 2014

CHICAGO, IL – The holiday season is a wonderful time of the year, but it’s also a prime time for scams to occur.

“The losses that hit consumers each year at Christmas are staggering,” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Even with the hustle and bustle of the season everyone needs to remain on their toes.”

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) shares this consumer warning, a list of scams to be aware of, from McAfee Labs a developer of computer protection software.

You’ve got mail. Think twice before clicking links in shipping notification emails. Always verify the shipping company before giving out your personal information.

Deceptive advertising. Beware of deals that are too good to be true as they could steal your personal information and ruin your holiday cheer.

Chilling charities. ‘Tis the season to donate, but be wary of fake charities. Do your research and double check the site URL.

Buyer beware. Check your credit card statements to make sure you don’t have unwanted charges as a result of a point-of-sale breach of your credit security.

iScams. Today, smartphones act not only as a phone but also a credit card, house key, camera and more. Malware can access your device via apps. Do your research and stick to official app stores when downloading.

Getting carded. Avoid the unwanted gift of malware and always verify that e-cards are from someone you know and are from a trustworthy site.

Holiday travel scams. Avoid fake online deal links offering low price airfare or hotel rooms that could be a trap; think before you click.

Bank robocall scam. Be suspicious of phone calls from people who claim your computer is infected and request your personal information to fix it.

ATM skimming. Carefully inspect automated teller machines (ATMs), especially if they are not at a bank location. A skimmer device could have been installed that’s designed to steal data off your bank card or credit card as you swipe it. Look carefully at the ATM and cover the keypad when entering your PIN.

Year in review traps. While a “Year in Review” email message sounds entertaining to read, clicking on these links could infect your devices.

BYO… device. With the hustle and bustle of the season, smartphones could easily be lost or stolen in the shuffle. Don’t leave your smartphone unattended during the hectic holiday season as it could give hackers access to your personal and work information.

Bad USB blues. Be wary of free USB drives that are often used as giveaways. This method is an easy way for hackers to spread malware.

Find out more about scams and sign up for scam alerts at BBB Scam Stopper (bbb.org/scam). For tips you can trust, visit bbb.org and for the latest, check out our blog, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

(NOTE: To view the 12 Scams of Christmas Infographic online, click here.)

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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